The Lonesome Brothers were playing alt-country and Americana long before those terms even existed. Formed in 1985, the band has perfected a style that weaves personal insights, experiences and home-spun characters and stories into the fabric of their music. The band is fronted by Ray Mason and Jim Armenti, old friends who have been playing together in a myriad of bands since the early 80s. The Lonesome Brothers are backed by former Scud Mountain Boy Tom Shea on drums. Ray and Jim share songwriting and vocal duties and a love of a wide array of music. Over the years, they have played with an incredibly varied roster of musicians, running the gamut from punk rock and avant-jazz to traditional Yiddish and Klezamir music. Fences is The Lonesome Brothers' fifth full-length album and it joins the long list of solo records, singles, and side projects that makes up their extensive, well-respected musical catalog. Ray Mason is often referred to as the 'godfather' of the New England music scene. Godfathers are usually that cool uncle or friend of your parents that tells good stories and gives you advice on the things that matter. As the godfather of the scene, Ray tells good stories in his songs and has imparted more sage advice to young musicians than anyone can possibly imagine. Mentoring musicians is just another feather in the cap of Mason, who continues to be an icon to people who know music. Jim Armenti is a musical melting pot. Jim is a northerner with an old southern soul that combines different genres and cultures into a singular entity. His songwriting and playing can have a listener wondering not only where the inspiration for a song comes from but also in which decade it was written and recorded. Jim is a musical traveler, and has combined influences from American and international sources to create his own brand of music. The Lonesome Brothers have worked with many much-loved bands over their life in music, such as The Ray Mason Band, Scud Mountain Boys (Tom played on their widely acclaimed Massachusetts album), Lloyd Cole and Cheri Knight of the Blood Oranges. Jim and Ray played in the Yankee Rhythm Band together in 1981 before forming the Lonesome Brothers in 1985. Ray started his first band, The Gladiators, in Holyoke, MA in 1966. In the early 80's he started the Ray Mason Band, which continues to this day. Ray and Jim have played on recordings by Cheri Knight, Ware River Club, Blood Oranges, Lloyd Cole, Cliff Eberhardt, Reed Foehl, Steve Westfield, Wolf Krakowski and many others. The Lonesome Brothers appeared on Prairie Home Companion and have opened shows for Carlene Carter, NRBQ, Steve Forbert, Billy Jo Shaver, Freedy Johnston, Laura Cantrell, Cry Cry Cry, Junior Brown, The Bottlerockets, the Flatlanders and many others.
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